Cease-Fire Anti-Gang Approach Adopted By Oakland


With crime soaring, Oakland, Ca. police have drawn up a list of the top 100 “persons of interest” in the city, primarily ex-convicts, who authorities believe are causing trouble and contributing to a climate of lawlessness, reports the New York Times. Police will call the suspects into court and inform them that they must behave. “We're going to tell them that we know they've been responsible for a number of things in your neighborhood, and that we've been watching you,” said Howard Jordan, a deputy police chief. “And we want you to change your life around. And if you don't, you will suffer the consequences.”

Called Operation Cease-Fire, the program builds on an experiment that was tried a decade ago in Boston, where law enforcement officials credit the straight-talk approach with helping sharply reduce killings within months. Dubbed the “Boston Miracle,” variations have been tried in Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. David Kennedy of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, an architects of the approach, said Oakland's decision to single out 100 troublemakers had a basis in studies on the causes of crime. “The kind of serious gun, street, drug-related violence that Oakland is dealing with right now is deeply embedded in a very small population of very active offending groups on the street,” said Kennedy, who is consulting with Oakland police. “You can call them gangs or sets or crews or whatever, but what you always get is this very active, group-based street scene. And this approach was developed to change the behavior of those groups.”

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/22/us/22oakland.html?hp&ex=1156305600&en=21

Comments are closed.